Businesses and creators alike need their videos to be accessible, findable, and in many cases, useful. Closed captions and transcriptions can be key to achieving these goals. Closed captions are selectable written versions of audio found in a video. Transcripts are written descriptions of everything in a video – not just the audio. Both closed captions and transcripts are immensely useful for businesses, creators, and their audiences. Here are four reasons why.
Accessibility For The Hard Of Hearing
Closed captions and transcriptions are absolutely essential for people who are hard of hearing. For obvious reasons, the audio elements of a video are likely to be inaccessible. Audio often contains a huge amount of important content in a video: usually in the form of speech. Captioning and transcriptions can help open this content up.
Captioning a video or writing out a full transcript used to be an extremely time-consuming task. Videos had to be watched time and time again, and the content transcribed manually. Modern captioning and transcription services are far less hassle. Verbit’s solution has been to use AI technology in order to automatically transcribe audio while retaining context, meaning, and cohesion. AI has made closed captioning far simpler and more accurate than ever and does not require specialist human input.
Accessibility For The Visually impaired
Transcriptions are especially useful for people with visual impairment. This is because many people with some form of blindness use screen readers in order to access the internet. Screen readers usually struggle to interpret audio but can read a transcript out like any other text found online. This is often one of the only ways in which a person can fully access a video with serious sight impairment. Millions of people all around the world struggle to see, and the integration of video content with screen readers has the potential to help many people out.
Search Engine Optimization
Transcripts and closed captions improve the search engine ranking of video content. This is partially because it creates new discernable content for search engine algorithms to analyze. It is also because captions and transcripts facilitate longer watch times for people speaking languages other than English or who are disabled. Watch time is one of the factors that is taken into account when a search engine algorithm is trying to rank a video.
Search Engine Optimization is immensely important if you want your marketing or creative content to travel far on the World Wide Web. Including closed captions or an accurate transcript is one step you can take to improve your chances.
No matter your ability, it can be useful to revisit the transcript or closed captions of a video to make sure that you understood it correctly. Academic and legal video content, for instance, needs to include a transcript so that it can be accurately quoted and utilized. The actual utility of your video content will be improved in many cases through the use of transcripts and closed captions.